Scrutinizing Iran’s Strategy of “Latent Nuclear Deterrence”

Volume 8, Issue 1, February 2024     |     PP. 257-276      |     PDF (229 K)    |     Pub. Date: August 15, 2023
DOI: 10.54647/sociology841126    60 Downloads     617 Views  

Author(s)

Hossein Salimi, Hossein Salimi is professor of international relations at Allameh Tabataba’i University in Tehran, Iran.
Ali Akbar Dareini, Ali Akbar Dareini is PhD candidate of “regional studies” at Allameh Tabataba’i University in Tehran, Iran.

Abstract
Some elites within Iran’s ruling system have long supported the idea that Iran needs to acquire nuclear weapons as ultimate deterrent against security threats but the dominant view in the high echelons of power has run against it.
That prompted Iranian strategists to devise a plan that will keep Iran in compliance with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and simultaneously provide it with a capability to develop nuclear weapons without building a physical bomb. That means turning Iran into a latent nuclear power.
The key goal of this paper is to respond to this question: What prompted Iran to pursue the strategy of “latent nuclear deterrence”?
Findings of this article on the basis of qualitative research method show that the anarchic structure of the international system and the threat perception of the elites convinced the Islamic Republic to pursue “latent nuclear deterrence” as a necessary strategy for its survival.
This research concludes that Iranian strategists found out that embracing the “Japan model” _ possessing capability to build nuclear weapons within a short period of time _ would be the best strategy to stop enemies from initiating a full-fledged military confrontation against Iran.

Keywords
Latent nuclear deterrence, international system, Iran nuclear program

Cite this paper
Hossein Salimi, Ali Akbar Dareini, Scrutinizing Iran’s Strategy of “Latent Nuclear Deterrence” , SCIREA Journal of Sociology. Volume 8, Issue 1, February 2024 | PP. 257-276. 10.54647/sociology841126

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